NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) development officer Kevin Dodds says the increasing demand for cider spells good news for the region’s apple industry.
“Cider production offers local apple growers a potential market for fruit which is deemed unsuitable for the fresh market,” he said.
“Typically 10 to 20 per cent of the fresh market crop goes to juice processors for crushing and pressing to produce apple juice and apple juice concentrate.
“For many growers juicing does not cover the cost of production, but growth in the Australian cider and perry (pear cider) market means that there is an increasing demand for locally-produced juice.”
As the new market for Australian juice fruit grows, it should also increase the market price for juice, Mr Dodds said.
“During judging for the Australian Cider Awards ... I had the opportunity to taste a range of ciders from six Australian states, France, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Belgium and Germany,” he said.
“This educational experience gave me a better appreciation for the range of flavours and aromas produced by the different apple and pear varieties.
“We predict that future development will see the growth of a market for traditional cider varieties. “Just as wine grapes are best suited to wine production, cider apples and pears are best suited to cider production.”